The Holy Gospel: June 3, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  John 3:1-17

Meditation:  A Gold Star in God’s Window

Jeannie and I have had the opportunity to watch Ken Burn’s masterful film series “The War,” on PBS.  Like Burns’ other films, this one captures the subject in ways that are both informative and deeply moving.

One of the things the film series reminded us was the custom of parents putting a blue star in the window of their home when one or more of their children enlisted in the military and was deployed to fight in either the Pacific or European theaters in World War II.

If your familiar with this custom, you know that if the blue star was replaced with a gold star, it meant that one of the children had died in battle.  Neighbors, friends, and the whole community honored the fallen soldier and the parents who had given “the ultimate gift.”

There is a gold star in God’s window.  Far from being divine child abuse (as some radical theologians assert today), Christ’s death upon the cross was ” the ultimate gift” God could give to redeem a lost and dying world.

It’s important on this First Sunday After Pentecost that the Gospel lesson reminds us what it is all about by taking us to the passage that reflects the heart of it all—God’s ultimate gift of salvation, offered to us as a result of the Son’s death upon the Cross, and offered to us through the mediation of the Holy Spirit at work in our world and in our lives every day.


About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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